‘MasterChef’ USA season 4 interview: Bri Kozior on coming back, going home again

Bri Kozior -It’s interesting when you have two separate opportunities to compete on a show like “MasterChef,” since it gives you a little bit of a different perspective on the experience. You know what it is like all of a sudden to be sent home, so you can handle some of the difficulties that come with that better than the average contestant. However, at the same time you may feel even more pressure given that you know this is your last chance.

This interview with Bri Kozior today was therefore pretty interesting. The last time that we spoke with her, we did so without even thinking about the twist that she could come back in the game. So if you’re looking for more information about what the process for her was like getting on the show and what she wants to do moving forward, that’s the story for you. This piece or more focused on the how and why for her returning to the game.

CarterMatt – So this is a pretty strange thing to go through. What was it like for you a few weeks ago, going through this whole post-elimination tour, but knowing in the back of your mind that you are coming back?

Bri Kozior – Well you know, everyone’s been asking like ‘what do you think is going to happen,’ and if there is a chance I could come back, and I want to be like ‘I am! I’m coming back,’ but I can’t say anything.

Did your friends figure it out that you could come back? Were there a good many of them constantly asking about it?

A lot of them were like ‘I think you’re coming back’ … People who saw last season know that they brought someone back. Nobody knew that they were only bringing three of us back. Everyone thought it was going to be like last season, where they brought back [most of the people previously eliminated].

Let’s go back to when you were sent home the first time. When did you find out that there was a chance you could return to the competition?

When you get eliminated you typically get sent home right away, it’s just like you see on TV. But for me, I was planning on moving to LA, and I had just moved to a different hotel further away. Then they had contacted me, and said to stay in the LA area, because there was some press or something coming.

So I stayed in the area, and I thought that I was going in for a shoot or interviews. I had no idea that I was going back to the ‘MasterChef’ kitchen for a competition. It was even more stressful than you would think it might be.

How quick was it to get back in the cooking frame of mind? I know it’s so different being in there because you are so hyper-focused and there is nothing else you can really concentrate on.

I feel like I was the lucky one compared to Lynn and Bemi. They had just started to adjust to a regular life since they were back home with their loved ones. I was still in LA, I never got to go home, and I was so into that mode. When I went into the ‘MasterChef’ kitchen, it didn’t take me that long to adjust. I had just gotten out of here, and I knew that I [couldn’t] blow it.

So when you do finally make it back into the competition, what is that feeling like?

It was amazing. Competing against Bemi and Lynn [is tough]. Bemi is one of those guys who will work really hard and push himself to accomplish his goals … And Lynn, everyone thought that he went home too soon, and I just thought that even though he had been home a long time, he could have come back like Superman and blown the rest of us out of the water. I just really had to focus on the fact that I was the one that was there the longest, and I had the best chance of coming back based on my skill set and mindset.

How did the rest of the contestants react to you coming back? Was it a situation where they would smile, but you could tell they weren’t that happy?

It’s funny, because some of them had expected it to happen, but no one expected it to just be the three of us. A lot of them thought they would bring back the rest of the top ten. When I walked in after I got my apron back, they were not happy. There was not [much clapping] for me. You can see it on camera, some of them are smiling, but none of them are actually clapping. Some were not that happy to see me there, and were in competitive mode.

Before you go this time let’s touch on what happened with the [calamari-themed] elimination. What was your mindset? Did it make you fight harder to stay in knowing what it was like to be eliminated, and when you were, was it easier to be at peace since you had already gone through it?

It made me want to push harder. After being eliminated the first time, I kept telling myself that I was so lucky for the opportunity to come back, and I really couldn’t ruin it. I put my best foot forward with everything, and pushed my hardest because nobody else really [knew what it was like] like I did. I just told myself that I could blow everyone else out of the water.

Being out for the second time, it definitely does make it a little easier knowing what you already went through; it’s hard to know that you came back and that you are leaving again, but I didn’t feel cheapened by it because it felt like the right time. It wasn’t the right time for me to go, I mean, but I left in the right way. I don’t eat fried food, and I’m not comfortable using a fryer. I had a hard time with the fried chicken, and some of the fried calamari. It’s something that I have always struggled with. If I was Krissi and I make this sort of food more, that’d be [different]. I would have been much more [upset] if I was sent home making a veggie burger.

It was easier going home the second time knowing that I can work on that, and grow to be better in the future.

Are you going to miss Bri? Click here to watch a video preview for tonight’s episode, and we will be back later with a full review.

Photo: Fox

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